As always, the wiki version with images is on Meta:,_March_2011

All best,


==Data and Trends==

:Global unique visitors for February:
:379 million (-8.3% compared to previous month / +9.9% compared to
previous year)
:(comScore data for all Wikimedia Foundation projects; comScore will
release March data later in April)
:NB: Drop is caused by shorter number of days in February; comScore
does not normalize the data.

:Page requests for March:
:15.1 billion (-2.5% compared to previous month / N/A for accurate
previous year comparison)
:(Server log data, all Wikimedia Foundation projects including Wikipedia mobile)

:Report Card for February 2011:


(Financial information is only available for February 2011 at the time
of this report.)

:Operating revenue for February: USD 0.2MM vs plan of USD 0.2MM
:Operating revenue year-to-date February: USD 19.9MM vs plan of USD 17.1MM

The successful 2010 fundraising campaign has resulted in the Wikimedia
Foundation exceeding its revenue targets year-to-date.

:Operating expenses for February: USD 1.3MM vs plan of 1.7MM
:Operating expenses year-to-date: USD 11.9MM vs plan of 13.5MM

Expenses MTD and YTD are under due to both the timing of capex
spending related to the build-out of the data center, as well as to
personnel-related expenses, which were under due to slower hiring.
Underspending was partially offset by spending in outside contract
services and travel.

Cash and investments as of February 2011 totaled USD $20.4MM
(approximately 12 months of expenses).

=== Editor Trends Update Published ===

On March 11, 2011, Executive Director Sue Gardner shared a message
with the global Wikimedia community focusing on the trends we are
seeing with regard to participation in Wikimedia projects, and
specifically the retention of new users. This message summarized data
from the simultaneously published Editor Trends Study, a project
undertaken by Diederik van Liere and Howie Fung under the supervision
of Erik Moeller. The Editor Trends Study specifically examined changes
in the long-term retention of users newly joining Wikimedia projects.
>From Sue Gardner's update:

: Here’s what we think the Editor Trends Study tells us: Between 2005
and 2007, newbies started having real trouble successfully joining the
Wikimedia community. Before 2005 in the English Wikipedia, nearly 40%
of new editors would still be active a year after their first edit.
After 2007, only about 12-15% of new editors were still active a year
after their first edit. Post-2007, lots of people were still trying to
become Wikipedia editors. What had changed, though, is that they were
increasingly failing to integrate into the Wikipedia community, and
failing increasingly quickly. The Wikimedia community had become too
hard to penetrate.


Since it was posted, Sue's update has been fully or partially
translated into more than 20 languages. The software and data
underlying the editor trends study is available to the community as

The update also summarized the Wikimedia Foundation's priorities for
the year ahead with an eye to this data:

* Create a visual editor
* Improve the new user experience
* Support growth in developing countries
* Serve audiences on all devices
* Create an improved experience for contributing and reviewing multimedia

With regard to the product development priorities, a more detailed
analysis can be found in the Wikimedia Foundation Product Whitepaper,
which summarizes both internal and external trends, presents a full
taxonomy of product development opportunities, and justifies product
development priorities according to our strategic plan and the overall


=== Chapters, Wikimedia Foundation Staff and Board meet in Berlin ===

The annual Chapters Conference was held in Berlin from March 25-27.
The conference was hosted by Wikimedia Germany and brought together
representatives from Wikimedia's 30 chapters and additional groups
that are in the formation stage, including South Africa (which became
an official chapter on March 27), Canada, Kenya and Chile.  WMF had
eight staff members in attendance.  The conference covered a range of
topics including the Editor Trends Study, cultural and educational
partnerships, chapter-WMF communications and chapter organizational

The Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees met in Berlin alongside the
Chapters Conference. The meeting was chaired by Ting Chen and attended
by trustees Phoebe Ayers, Bishakha Datta, Jan-Bart de Vreede, Matt
Halprin, Samuel Klein, Arne Klempert, Kat Walsh and Stuart West, as
well as Executive Director Sue Gardner and Executive Assistant James
Owen. Jimmy Wales was unable to be in Berlin, but attended part of the
meeting via Skype. The agenda for the Board meeting included:

*An audit committee update (Stu);
*An update from the Movement Roles working group (Arne);
*A discussion about the chapters (Ting and Stu);
*A Board governance update (Matt);
*A presentation of materials related to the Editor Trends Study and a
discussion about Wikimedia's difficulty retaining new editors (Sue);
*A report from the Controversial Content working group (Phoebe);
*An update on the community elections (Jan-Bart).

The Board was also able to attend several of the chapters' meeting
sessions. There was also a large all-day meeting of the Movement Roles
working group, prior to the Board meeting.

=== 2009-10 Annual Report Released ===

We released the Annual Report for the fiscal year ending June 30,
2010. In addition to the print and PDF versions, we have also
published the report as a set of wiki pages for easier collaborative
improvement and translation. Highlights of the 2009-10 Annual Report

* Usability and multimedia upload initiative
* Wikimedia's strategic plan goals
* Wikimania 2009
* The Hoxne Hoard and British Museum collaboration
* 2009/10 annual giving campaign

The Annual Report can be found at:


As always, detailed info about the Tech Department's activities for
February 2011 can be found at:


Highlights below:

=== Developer Community Outreach ===

==== Google Summer of Code Submissions ====

We have received a record number of excellent student proposals for
this year's GSoC.  Final deadline is April 8th for student
registration/submission, and we will be sorting through and accepting
proposals as soon as we can after the deadline.


==== Berlin Hack-a-thon ====

The good folks at Wikimedia Deutschland are again hosting a
Hack-a-thon in May.  We will be sending a large contingent of staff
engineers and are planning to host discussions about our plans for
MediaWiki development. Community members interested in attending
should register before April 10 at:


=== Hiring ===

This month we welcomed Ops Engineer Peter Youngmeister, and welcomed
back Brion Vibber as Lead Architect:


=== Operations ===

==== Data Dumps ====

Ariel Glenn and other ops staff and community members continued their
work to restore and improve data dump services after the failure of
the old system in December.  The January run of the complete English
Wikipedia dumps was completed in March, and the March run was almost
completed. We are also working with Google to enable regular mirroring
of the most recent dumps to Google storage for download.

==== New Data Center Buildout ====

Ashburn Data Center work continues.  All machines are racked and
cabled and we have been working through configuring the individual
servers.  We will not be able to switch over to using Ashburn for
daily traffic until we get a connection established from Tampa to
Ashburn, which we have ordered (but it is taking longer than expected
to set up).  Meanwhile, we expect to hold a coding sprint on setting
up replication/failover for all of our sub-systems during the Berlin
Hack-a-thon in May.

=== Features ===

==== Article Feedback ====

The second phase of this feature was released on the English Wikipedia
in mid-March. Reviewers can now specify the source of their knowledge,
e.g. if they have an academic degree in a related field. Experiments
to encourage user engagement are being performed as well. Dario
Taraborelli also published an analysis of the first phase experiment.
We are currently expanding the scope of the experiment to include
several thousand articles, in order to get results that are more
statistically meaningful.

==== Wikilove 0.1 ====

Because many automated patrolling tools and gadgets are focused on
making it easy to warn or reprimand users, Ryan Kaldari wrote a user
script to facilitate nice behavior between editors. For example, it is
now possible, on the English Wikipedia and other wikis, to give a
“virtual kitten” to another editor. The script was adapted for use by
the Russian and Tamil communities, and Ryan is helping support other
communities willing to use it.

==== Community Features Experiments ====

Trevor Parscal deployed a change to the placement of the Edit button
for section-level edits as a feature experiment. Initial data
indicates a dramatic increase in edit actions and a significant
increase in edit completions. We're continuing to investigate the data
before making a final decision on whether to productize this change.

==== Media Upload Wizard ====

The Upload Wizard is a significantly improved media uploading tool for
Wikimedia Commons. Neil Kandalgaonkar and Ryan Kaldari continued to
fix bugs, test functionality, and generally prepared the software for
wider usage. Try it here:


=== General Engineering ===

==== Performance Optimization ====

Tim Starling and volunteer developer Platonides have been working on
two great projects designed to enhance MediaWiki performance:

* '''PoolCounter''' - Tim Starling deployed this extension, written by
Platonides to control the number of simultaneous parses that happen on
a single page (to avoid the “Michael Jackson” effect -- see ). It was later disabled
because of a bug now fixed; Platonides also added integrated
statistics to this tool. We plan a second deployment attempt in April.

* '''Ehcache deployment''' - Tim Starling investigated Wikimedia’s low
parser cache hit ratio and suggested an increase in the parser cache
size to reduce Apache CPU usage. After researching available options
for disk-backed object caches, he selected Ehcache and wrote a
MediaWiki client for it. Our test deployments showed promising
results, but also surfaced additional problems that we need to sort

==Research and Strategy==

=== Internal Research Progress ===

We publicized and explained the results of the Editor Trends Study
(see highlights). A paper by Howie Fung and Diederik van Liere
describing the results from the Editor Trends study was submitted and
is currently under review for the WikiSym 2011 conference.

As a result of the launch of v.2 of the Article Feedback tool in
March, we started collecting and analyzing data on rater expertise and
calls to action following the rating completion, complementing the
previous results on article ratings.

=== Research Committee Activity ===

The survey on expert participation in Wikipedia [1] conducted by
Wikimedia Foundation Research Committee members Daniel Mietchen, Dario
Taraborelli and Panagiota Alevizou was covered by Zoe Corbyn in an
article for ''the Guardian'' published on March 29, 2011 [2] (and
followed by an editorial on April 6 [3]) also featuring interviews
with Mike Peel, a postdoctoral researcher at Jodrell Bank Observatory
and secretary of the Wikimedia UK chapter, Mark Graham from the Oxford
Internet Institute, Paul Goldberg from the University of Liverpool,
and Suzie Sheehy from the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory. The survey
was also featured in a Slashdot story [4] that generated 385 comments
as of April 6.  The survey is still accepting participants and will
close on April 15.

=== Research outreach initiatives ===
The preparation for the data competition (in partnership with Kaggle)
and the data visualization challenge (co-organized with WikiSym)
continued throughout March. The focus of the first data visualization
challenge will be on Wikipedia's ''external impact'' and both the
Foundation and WikiSym are involving a number of organizations to
sponsor this competition. A call for contributions for both
initiatives will be published in April.


== Community ==
The Community Department made progress on several community organizing
and research projects in March.

=== Wiki Guides Project ===

With 60 volunteers taking part, the Wiki Guides program continues to
be exciting. The program follows and protects new users through their
initial days by offering a sheltering and supportive atmosphere. In
particular, we have emphasized rescuing articles created by new users.
 Statistics are being posted on meta, but one early finding shows we
have to move very quickly to intervene before the new users lose
interest.  Each guide is following nearly 100 users.  We are analyzing
against a control group, and look forward to presenting those results
to the community.


=== OTRS Analysis  ===

Christine is beginning a 360 degree analysis of the OTRS e-mail
ticketing system from both a technical and social perspective.  She is
reaching out to administrators, users, and "customers" to determine
whether our current system is sufficient, has glaring needs (such as
training or technology), and is appropriately scalable to support
growth in India and other areas where readership is rising quickly.

=== Contribution Taxonomy ===

Steven Walling and others in the Community Department resumed work on
the Contribution Taxonomy Project. The methodology description on Meta
has been updated, [1] work began on defining metrics for measuring
specific editing activities, [2] and public tracking of the data
analysis was added. [3] The community is invited to help refine the
metrics, research questions, and help run analyses using the open
source "Wikilytics" toolkit developed during the Editor Trends Study.

: [1]
: [2]
: [3]
: [4]

=== Account Creation Improvement Project ===

Fellow Lennart Guldbrandsson continued testing modifications to the
account creation experience. Statistics gathered so far show a slight
increase in edits made by people creating new accounts as a result of
changed user interface messages.


=== Fundraiser ===

The fundraising team welcomed Josh VanDavier as our permanent
Development Associate to support the growth and integrity of our donor
database, help prepare for the next fundraiser, and respond to donor
inquiries. For a full description of the role:


We also posted several open positions for the next fundraiser that can
be seen here:


Chapter and WMF fundraising representatives have started planning a
summit to be hosted by WMAT in July to collaborate on the 2011

=== Public Policy Initiative ===

Approximately 1.4 million characters (or about 900 pages) of content
were added to the English Wikipedia in March by students participating
in the Public Policy Initiative (a project focused on improving
articles in the domain of public policy and funded by a grant). With
some PPI classes scheduled to start editing Wikipedia articles in
April, we will continue to watch the numbers climb. For more
information on how the students and classes are doing, check out the
new Leaderboard:


LiAnna Davis and Amy Roth successfully presented at the SoTL
Conference for Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in Georgia and
drew lots of interest in Wikipedia in Higher Education as well as
potential universities to work with next fall. Frank, Rod, and Annie
met with Wikimedia chapter members from Germany, the UK and Italy. The
three-day meeting was hosted by the German Chapter to discuss
Wikipedia in Higher Education and what aspects of PPI could be
adapted/modified to work in the various countries.

=== Fellowship Program ===

The Wikimedia Fellowship Program now has a public application process
posted on Meta. [1] Since its announcement on September 15, 2010, [2]
the fellowship program has been experimental, with both the Global
Development Department and Community Department engaging with
community members on an ad hoc basis. The new process outlines two
different kinds of fellows and a public procedure for applying or
proposing a fellowship.


==Global Development==


* Asaf Bartov joined Global Development as a contractor to work on
Global South Relationships.
* In addition to the chapters conference (see highlights), several
Wikimedians including WMF staff participated in Global Melt 2011 in
Berlin, an unconference about event organizing in the Open
Code/Data/Content movements. We made some promising contacts and
hatched some ideas for collaboration with Mozilla, CC, and others.
* Posted two new positions for the Communications team:

===Chapter Relations and Grants===

* Updates to the Grants program were introduced by Asaf and discussed
at Wikimedia Conference in Berlin.
* Outreach materials mini-grants were made available under WMF's grants program.

====Grants awarded in March====
*WikiSym Conference (USA): $20,000.00 USD in support of The
International Symposium on Wikis and Open Collaboration (WikiSym).
*Wikimedia Ukraine: $6,400.00 USD to help WMUA build up its structural
support base in order to sustain the projects which it plans to
*Recent Changes Camp 2011 Boston (USA): $1,500.00 USD to support
Boston's recent changes camp.
*Wikimedia Indonesia: Beacon of Theology: $2,400.00 USD to support a
72-day wiki-based writing competition.
*Launch of a Chapter Organizational consulting pilot initiative to
work with Wikimedia Netherlands, Sweden, Czech Republic and Hungary.

====Chapter Relations====
* WMF and chapters have been working to ensure that we have chapter
agreements in place that help to clarify our relationship and
responsibilities. We had 24 of 30 chapter agreements in place at the
end of March. Current status here:

* WMF and the chapters who participate in fundraising continue to have
reporting and fund transfer responsibilities.  The attached page shows
the status of completion of these responsibilities:

* The 2009/10 annual report was released (see highlights).
* There was light media activity through March overall, with few major
stories or issues breaking headlines.
* Communications welcomed nine new members to the Communications
Committee, including members from the UK, Japan, Hungary, Germany,
Hong Kong, South Korea, Cambodia, India, and Egypt.
* Communications worked to revamp current social media practices to
make  them more open and inclusive.
* The IRC channel dedicated to communications discussions has been
revived  and anyone interested in participating is encouraged to join
#wikimedia-comcom on

====Major Stories and Coverage====
A  two-day visit from Fast Company freelancer Karen Valby yielded a
large  story in the April issue of Fast Company, which was released in
March.   Valby interviewed WMF ED Sue Gardner, and explored the
details of the  Wikimedia strategic plan and the history and future of


There were only three incoming media inquiries in March from the
Guardian (UK), Der Freitag (Germany) and Convergance Magazine (Canada)


Other worthwhile reads:

====Blogging through February, 2011====
Topics of March Blogs included:
* “How Wikipedia Works” hits our shelves
* Brion Vibber rejoins Wikimedia Foundation
* Wikipedia celebrates International Women’s Day
* Update on Offline Wikipedia Projects
* Presenting our 2009-10 annual report
* Welcoming more ubuntu spirit to the Wikimedia movement
* Campus Ambassador program tackles gender gap


*Hired external contractor to work with Global Development Research on
qualitative field research in India (and then Brazil) on mobile user
behaviour to inform future mobile strategy and feature development.
*Device testing: Analyzed mobile and other Internet connected devices
in strategically important global dev regions for user testing.
*Currently adjusting the focus of relationships with exisiting mobile
partners Telefonica and Orange to include greater access to Wikipedia
in priority regions of Latin America,the Middle East and Africa.
*Developing a new affiliate partner program to increase mobile
partnerships worldwide. Currently in discussions with multiple
companies to test pilots.
*Soliciting community input on how to balance confidentiality
requirements of companies with our culture of transparency and

===Editor Survey===
*An editor survey across the Wikimedia sites is scheduled to launch in
April with the goal of increasing our understanding of the current
state of the editor community.  This survey will be repeated regularly
to provide us (the Wikimedia movement) with regular feedback from the
editor community.
*The editor survey will be available in 22 languages thanks to the
efforts of volunteers Casey Brown and Alex Zariv, the Engineering team
and global development staff along with our outside research
organization, Resolve Market Research.

*Blog post:
*Wikipedia  0.8 came out: a huge effort spearheaded by volunteer
Martin Walker to create a high quality, high importance subset of
articles from English Wikipedia.
*Created an offline portal consolidating all offline work:

===Global Education===
* Finalized white paper outlining the benefits of expanding to a
global university program (comments would be appreciated):

===India Programs===

Hisham Mundol visited San Francisco and used the opportunity to
conduct intensive face-to-face meetings across functions, with the
objective of socialising and detailing the India Plan. Hisham also
attended the Chapters Conference in Berlin to engage with other
chapters as well as Wikimedia's Board, with the objective of learning
from others' experiences and to further sharpen the India Plan.

On the ground in India:
*Detailed the India Plan and shared it with Community.
*Worked on legal/corporate structure for India entity.
*Started reaching out to community for inclusion in Fellowships/Staff Members.
*Started to identify potential communications agencies about
partnerhips with WMF.

==Human Resources==

===Staff Changes===
New (RE)Hire
* Brion Vibber, Lead Software Architect (Tech) – FT employee

* Josh VanDavier, Development Associate (Community) – FT Employee

* James Alexander, Community Fellow (Community) – Temp Full Time

New Postings
* Storyteller
* Software Engineer – Community R&D
* Movement Communications Manager
* Data Analyst and Researcher
* Engineering Program Manager – Data Analytics
* Community Liaison
* Fundraiser Production Coordinator
* Design Communications Manager

No Contracts Ended

Vital Stats: Total Employee Count
:Plan: 88
:Actual: 64
:Attrition: 3
: Remaining Open positions to fiscal year end: 28

Diversity stats:
* 64 Total Employees (includes people considered international employees)
* 42.9% female employees; 6.9% increase from 7/1/10
* 31.8% ethnic minorities; 5.8% increase from 7/1/10
* 38.1% foreign nationals; 1.9% increase in U.S. hiring from 7/1/10
* 43.8% Wikimedians; 1.75% increase from 7/1/10
* 71.4% have lived abroad; 1.4% increase from 7/1/10

Real-time feed for HR updates:
: or

===Department Updates===
During  the month of March, the HR team continued building out a more
efficient hiring pipeline in collaboration with hiring managers.  The
goal was to evaluate how to better reach qualified candidates,
specifically those who understand the open source movement and
particularly the Wikimedia movement.  We also had a few conversations
with folks outside of WMF to discuss their ideas and suggestions.

The results of this work should start to become apparent when we
report out again in April.

Internally, we are continuing to implement OrangeHRM.  This is a human
resource information system that will make some pieces of HR more
efficient by automating some of the more transactional pieces, such as
data tracking and internal resource management.  The second step will
be creating a  database behind the job opening process that allows
people to apply directly into an internal/secure database, making our
hiring process more streamlined and efficient.

We have also been collaborating with the other departments to create
the annual plan and budget for the 2011-12 fiscal year.

==Finance and Administration==

*Invoiced chapters related to 2010-11 fundraiser participation
*Presented 2009 Form 990 tax return to audit committee for review and approval
*Held budget meetings with various departments to begin preparation
for 2011-12 annual plan development
*Hired interim IT Project Manager and set date for Google Apps
Migration (April 22-25)
*Completed search for interim Head of Office Administration (will
start April 25)
*Completed search for interim IT Help Desk positions (started April 4)


*Received strong WIPO opinion underscoring that the Wikipedia
trademark is "widely known around the world for providing information
in the field of general encyclopedic knowledge."
*Started search for Deputy General Counsel (with an emphasis on
transactional work).
*Will sign on to amicus brief in Golan v. Holder, where the Supreme
Court must decide whether the Copyright Clause gives Congress
authority to take a work out of the public domain.
*Worked on policies to help guide WMF employees on how to approach
content issues.

==Visitors and Guests==

#Anna Sew Hoy (San Jose Museum of Art)
#JoAnne Northrup (San Jose Museum of Art)
#Victoria Bellotti (PARC)
#Dmitry Buslaev (CitizenGlobal)
#Eben Moglen (Software Freedom Law Center)
#Harshad Gune (Open Source Initiative Board Member)
#Ed Bice (CEO of Meedan)
#Sebastian Moleski (Board President of Wikimedia Germany)
#Heather Ford (former Advisory Board member for WMF and a CC activist)
#David Peters (ExBrook)
#David Weir (Consultant for Annual report)
#Ben Lowenstein and Lee Jacobs (
#Michael Lopez (Solid Ground)
#Lennart Guldbrandsson (community fellow)
#Randy Tan (AV and journalism at San Mateo College)
#Sara Godwin (UCSF student for PPI)
#Anhika Kline (UCSF student for PPI)
#Pamela May (Design Media)
#Sarah Hargrave (Hargrave Consulting)
#Michael Snow (former Chair of the Wikimedia Foundation's Board of Trustees)
#Latoya Peterson (Social Media Consultant)
#Ward Cunningham

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